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Gov. Whitmer Announces $8M Investment to Support Construction Careers for Historically Underserved Michiganders

LANSING - Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) awarded an $8 million grant to the Michigan State AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute to support the Michigan Statewide Pre-Apprenticeship "Ready for Construction" (MiSPARC) program that will connect more than 640 unemployed and underemployed Michiganders.

"The 'Ready for Construction' program puts Michiganders first by providing a path to high-paying jobs in construction, an industry critical to our state's infrastructure," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "It helps expand and diversify our state's talent pool and opens the door to meaningful opportunities that will have a real impact on Michigan workers, families, businesses and communities."

The program will provide participants with training to help them achieve employment in the expanding building trades and transportation sectors of the construction industry, with priority given to unemployed, underemployed, low-income, minorities and women who have historically been underserved through Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship Programs.

MiSPARC will increase the number of Michiganders who are well-prepared to enter and successfully complete Registered Apprenticeship Programs, growing the state's construction industry talent pool.

Since 2019, LEO has received more than $27 million in U.S. Department of Labor funding to support Michigan's State Apprenticeship Expansion efforts.

"Registered Apprenticeship has been an important tool in helping prepare Michiganders to enter in-demand, high-wage careers," said LEO's Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn. "We've identified Apprenticeship Readiness programming and pre-apprenticeship training as critical success factors, and MiSPARC will help us meet the training needs that will lead to success for our state's residents and businesses."

Training provided through the program will increase the number of skilled workers in the construction industry, helping close current skills gaps and enabling the state to make the infrastructure progress needed to continue and accelerate Michigan's economic growth.

"The MiSPARC grant is a historic investment in working people and in the future of Michigan. While the building and construction trades are preparing for the many infrastructure projects scheduled for this year, the Michigan Workforce Development Institute is training the next generation of Apprentices and Journeyworkers," said Cheryl Sanford, CEO of Michigan Workforce Development Institute. "This funding will allow us to greatly expand our pre-apprenticeship training programs, preparing more Michiganders to enter high-demand careers in the building and construction trades."

To learn more about MiSPARC, contact the LEO Statewide Apprenticeship Expansion Team at [email protected]. More information about Michigan's apprenticeship expansion efforts is available at


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